A Return to Tradition

Putting Courtesy and Custom Into Your Wedding

Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices,” observed the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. When it comes to weddings, it’s good to keep that in mind. The best of weddings makes people bonkers — a coworker planning his wedding said he’s so overwhelmed with all the details and decisions to make, he can only spend five minutes a day in wedding world before wanting to curl up in the fetal position.

We at The Independent believe that’s because of how far the whole wingding has drifted from its formal roots and etiquette. Everything costs a fortune, anything goes, and people seem to have forgotten all about manners and tradition.

So in this, our annual wedding issue, we’ve put together tips on how to get back to the basics of wedding decorum. Read about the history of bridesmaids; find out what really goes on at that age-old send-off known as the bachelor party; check out a return to style via Fashion Engagement photos; and get some suggestions of where to have a rehearsal dinner the whole correct-salad-fork-using family will enjoy. And, of course, we include a resource list to help you in your gargantuan task of getting married. As irritating as the details of a wedding may be to partake in, remember these sage words from Mr. Emerson: “Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”

INSIDE THIS SECTION: Wedding Etiquette by Heather Clisby Rehearsal Dinners by D.J. Palladino Bridesmaids by Heather Clisby Bachelor Parties by Shannon Kelley GouldWedding Dance Lessons by Elizabeth Schwyzer The Five-Minute Rule by Matt Kettmann Engagement Photoshoots by Matt Kettmann

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